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11 Books That Are Even Better Than The Movies Based Off Them

Amblin Entertainment

Readers are, on the whole, a pretty peaceful group of people. But if you ever feel like stirring the pot, ask a reader to compare her favorite book to its film adaptation. Chances are, her response will be passionate bordering on manic, even if the film is a classic. After all, readers can be protective of their favorite source material. With that in mind, you can check out the books that are even better than the movies based off them.

For many people, it can be difficult to judge a book by its film version. Plenty of great books lose their magic when chopped down to script length, and it takes great skill to translate the intricacies of a 400-page book into an hour-and-a-half movie. For some readers, anything less than a miniseries that stays faithful to every last line is a blasphemy.

But sometimes, it helps to look to the movies when you're seeking out a new read. Many of your favorite films are likely based on novels, and you can learn to appreciate beloved characters in a new way when you encounter them on the page. So whether you're a purist about the book being better, or just someone who enjoys a good story in any form, check out the books that inspired these movies.

1. 'Me Before You' by Jojo Moyes

The ordinary Louisa Clark meets her unlikely match in the form of Will Traynor, whose recent paralysis has left him moody and jaded with the world. In Me Before You by Jojo Moyes, both characters find greater meaning through their relationship. It's a heart-wrenching and lovely story.  

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2. 'Before I Go To Sleep' by S. J. Watson

This is one intense thriller. S.J. Watson's Before I Go To Sleep follows Chrisine Lucas as she copes with anterograde amnesia, which causes her to forget all memories of her life whenever she falls asleep. In spite of this reset button, Lucas tries to learn the truth about her current identity, as well as her confusing past.

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3. 'The Help' by Kathryn Stockett

In 1960s Mississippi, three women from vastly different backgrounds band together to write a book about life as a black maid in this area of the country. Kathryn Stockett's The Help is a stirring look at the hypocrisies that ruled this era, and the characters' desire to create a better world and tell the truth about their lives.

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4. 'Child 44' by Tom Rob Smith

What is the true cost of a crime-free society? In Tom Rob Smith's Child 44, security officer Leo Demidov contends with the appearance of a serial killer in Stalinist Russia. With the State officially denying the deaths of the victims, Demidov attempts to track down the killer himself.

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5. 'The Giver' by Lois Lowry

A Newbery Medal winner, The Giver by Lois Lowry is a heartfelt coming-of-age story that questions the nature of perception and reality. When Jonas learns the dark secrets behind his apparently ideal society, he begins to question the price of perfect safety.

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6. 'Dead Stars' by Bruce Wagner

This book may be one of the more literary examinations of the always-on gossip blog culture. Dead Stars by Bruce Wagner examines the dark side of Hollywood wannabes in a world obsessed with fame.

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7. 'Serena' by Ron Rash

Greed grows strong in Depression-era North Carolina. Ron Rash's Serena follows an ambitious newlywed couple as they stop at nothing to create a successful timber business. Family struggles, betrayal, and murder unfold in the rural mountains.

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8. 'The Girl On The Train' by Paula Hawkins

Sure, it's one of the most hyped novels since Gone Girl, but the story deserves  attention. At face value, The Girl On The Train by Paula Hawkins is the story of a woman who goes missing from her home in the sleepy London suburbs. But voyeurism, alcohol-induced amnesia, and the crippling pressure of keeping up appearances all factor into this gripping tale.

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9. 'The Martian' by Andy Weir

Of course the movie was amazing. But the added characterization you get in the book form of Andy Weir's The Martian is not to be missed. It's fun to accompany the brilliant and good-natured Mark Watney as he sciences his way to survival on an alien planet.

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10. 'Addicted' by Zane

The 2014 film adaptation of Addicted only has an 8 percent rating on Rotten Tomatoes, so it's safe to say it was not exactly a hit. However, the source material still deserves attention. Addicted by Zane is the study of a powerful businesswoman's desire for erotic adventures.

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11. 'Jurassic Park' by Michael Crichton

Although he passed away in 2008, Michael Crichton's influence on popular culture is still huge: another Jurassic World film is set to be released in 2018. What's more, it's safe to say that the classic Jurassic Park film from 1993 had a giant influence on generations of filmgoers. But even if you only have a passing interest in dinosaurs, Michael Crichton's Jurassic Park is a thoughtful look at the intersection of science, business, and morality. It's a thriller that will make you consider the drawbacks of bioengineering.

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